The four are the customer contact centers of AmerenCIPS in Pawnee, Ill., near Springfield; AmerenCILCO in Peoria, Ill.; and the three AmerenUE centers in St. Louis, Cape Girardeau and Jefferson City. Advanced technology within each center keeps the customer "wait" time to a minimum, while allowing agents to access customer information quickly.
The recognition came after a two-day on-site visit by J.D. Power and Associates auditors, who conducted interviews with a wide-range of employees from several different departments. During that phase, the companies also provided numerous documents for auditors' review. This information on internal practices, processes and policies reflects each company's commitment to monitoring the voice of the customer and to implementing programs that help each center continue to improve customer service. The second phase of the certification process involved a customer satisfaction survey asking customers to rate the contact center agents on such qualities as courtesy, knowledge and concern for their customers' needs. For J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center ProgramSM information, visit www.jdpower.com or call 1-866-842-7548.
"J.D. Power and Associates certification is a tremendous honor for our customer contact center employees because very few other companies have achieved this distinction," says Richard Mark, AmerenUE senior vice president, Missouri Energy Delivery. "This took hard work and a strong commitment to excellence by everyone involved and clearly demonstrates the great concern and respect Ameren employees have for our customers."
Mark adds that Ameren's new FoCUS program\-a new survey and reporting system that enables Ameren to get specific comments and input from customers\-is yet another example of Ameren's commitment to performance-leading customer service. This program, the contact centers' pursuit of performance excellence, a range of payment options and added online services, plus improvements in storm restoration and communications all support a comprehensive plan to listen to customers and make improvements based on their feedback.
"This honor is a credit to employees who have been highly trained and who manage to provide superior service in a fast-paced, always changing utility environment," adds the President of Ameren Illinois Energy Delivery Scott A. Cisel. "Our employees have mastered a range of sophisticated technology that allows them to respond to customer questions quickly and accurately\-all while exhibiting a caring and concerned approach to each and every caller."
The certification period lasts one year; after that, recertification depends on the results of another customer survey.
Call center staffs celebrated the honor with cake, an unveiling of the handsome award shown on www.ameren.com and banners that were unfurled at each center location.
Established in 1968, J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information firm that conducts independent and unbiased surveys of customer satisfaction, product quality and buyer behavior. Today, the firm's services include industry-wide syndicated studies; proprietary (commissioned) tracking studies; media studies; forecasting; and training services, as well as business operations analyses, and consultancies on customer satisfaction trends. On April 1, 2005, J.D. Power and Associates became a business unit of the McGraw- Hill Companies.
Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and nearly 1 million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois. The parent company and AmerenUE are based in St. Louis; the headquarters of AmerenCIPS is in Springfield, Ill.; the headquarters of AmerenCILCO is in Peoria, Ill., and the headquarters of AmerenIP is in Decatur, Ill.